Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. I’ve been sharing from the book I’m releasing on May ninth, And Jakob Flew the Fiend Away.
In July of 1945, 19-year-old soldier Jakob was transferred from Amsterdam to the Dutch East Indies, where a revolution is brewing. Jaap thinks the Indonesians deserve their independence, but he’s not going to disobey orders, and he knows the people pointing guns at him won’t know or care what his sympathies are.
Jaap has spent a lot of time drawing the beautiful flora and fauna, using the excuse that he’s scouting. On one of these “scouting” missions in the jungle, he’s made friends with a mother orangutan and her baby, and has started thinking about what he’s going to do for a living once he’s a civilian. Little does he realize there’s another animal in the area, an animal decidedly less friendly and gentle towards humans than orangutans.
He was so lost in his train of thought that he didn’t hear a menacing growl until he looked up and saw a flash of orange and black heading right in his direction.
Completely forgetting everything he’d been told about not moving and staying calm when a tiger approached, he leapt to his feet, stuffing his fountain pen and notepad into his bag, and began running as fast as he could in a zigzag pattern. He was limping heavier than usual, the way he always did when he had to run very fast, and taking ragged, gulping breaths. The tropical heat combined with his terror produced an excess of sweat he was unable to stop to wipe away. And all the while, the beating of his heart was probably loud enough to call the tiger’s attention.
As he was running far away from his encampment, by now positive he’d gotten lost forever in the jungle, he saw another horrifying sight looming in front of him. A machine gun nest. Quickly glancing back to make sure he still had some distance on the tiger, he reached into the left-side pocket on his bag as he ran, pulled out a grenade, removed the pin, and aimed right for the nest.
For anyone interested, I created a Facebook page for Jakob’s story awhile ago. It has links to a lot of the historical resources I used while researching it, some of the songs that inspired chapter titles, a list of characters, etc.